Michigan Commute to start before April 07?

For discussion of the GLC. The GLC is a Class II regional railroad operating over former Penn Central lines in Michigan. Their website is here: GLCRailroad.com
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Engineer James
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Michigan Commute to start before April 07?

Post by Engineer James » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:12 pm

City pushes for earlier start of rail commute
Whitmore Lake-Ann Arbor service sought by late March

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
BY JOHN MULCAHY
News staff reporter
The city of Ann Arbor, along with some transportation allies, is pushing to move up implementation of a commuter rail service from near Whitmore Lake to Ann Arbor so that it can be in operation by late March.

The new energy being brought to the idea of a north commuter rail line into Ann Arbor is motivated by major construction scheduled for this spring and summer along US-23.

Read the whole article here!


Thread title changed by a Moderator Feb 1 2007 1:05P CST

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Scotty Burkhardt
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Post by Scotty Burkhardt » Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:01 pm

In that article it said that operation would be headed by the "Great Lakes Central" railroad using passenger cars "the company already has".

Is this going to be an Amtrak operation or a GLC operation? Anybody know what this equitment is? I can't find any info on it aside from the above linked article.

mkellerm
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Post by mkellerm » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:21 pm

This is *not* going to be an Amtrak operation. There are two different commuter rail proposals floating around in Southeastern Michigan, which used to be part of one proposal but were separated for feasibility reasons. One of these proposals is to restore commuter service on the old Michigan Central line from Ann Arbor to Detroit. This is the route that was served by the Michigan Executive during the the late 1970s and early 1980s. This proposed service probably would be operated by Amtrak, at least as a demonstration. The main sponsor of this effort is SEMCOG (the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments). It was discussed at length in the following thread:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=34236

The second proposal, which is the one discussed in the linked story, is to start a commuter rail service on the old Ann Arbor Railroad from Whitmore Lake or Howell into Ann Arbor. Ownership of the Annie is divided between the (new) Ann Arbor Railroad and the State of Michigan at a point just north of the bridge over the NS Michigan Line (and current Amtrak route), which is why the proposed service will not actually serve downtown Ann Arbor unless a deal can be worked out. The main proponent in this effort is the Mayor of Ann Arbor, John Hiefje.

The AA-Whitmore Lake service would be operated by Great Lakes Central, which took over operation of the state-owned lines north of Ann Arbor from the Tuscola and Saginaw Bay. The owner of the GLC is Federated Railways, which is primarily the equipment leasing arm of a financial services company. They recently acquired some ex-Metra gallery cars, which would be used in the new service (see here). As far as I can tell, though, the owner is a true believer in the future of passenger rail; he talks about restoring service all the way to Cadillac and Traverse City (I'll believe it when I see it).

I doubt that anything is ever going to come from this; the skepticism of the Michigan DOT is palpable in the article, and Ann Arbor is facing severe budget problems (OK, not as severe as Detroit, but Pfizer did just announce it is closing its Ann Arbor facility, which was the largest private taxpayer in the city, and eliminating over 2000 jobs). On the other hand, the Mayor is unusually effective at getting what he wants, and is not one to let open discussion and debate get in his way, so I could well be wrong.

(This probably belongs in the commuter rail forum).

wigwagfan
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MODERATOR'S NOTE:

Post by wigwagfan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:19 am

MODERATOR'S NOTE:

Is this an Amtrak operation or not?

First call...if not, we'll move 'er over.

Thanks,
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Erik Halstead - Portland, Oregon

Engineer James
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Post by Engineer James » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:13 am

I guess not Amtrak, move her when you get a sec. I got confused on the story. :-D

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Scotty Burkhardt
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Post by Scotty Burkhardt » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:47 pm

If I understand correctly, There are two proposed commuter operations in the works, One to Ann Arbor and another to Detroit. The Ann Arbor operation is proposed to be a Great Lakes operation? And the Detroit being an Amtrak operation? To me this seems like a Ann Arbor topic.

The only Amtrak connection I can see is the possibility of former Amtrak trainsets being used???

wigwagfan
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MODERATOR'S NOTE

Post by wigwagfan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:47 pm

MODERATOR'S NOTE:

Survey sez... Commuter Rail.

Thread moved to General Discussion, Commuter and Transit.

Thanks,
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Erik Halstead - Portland, Oregon

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